August 1, 2015

a little introduction...

Cora Penelope |
Cora Penelope
6 lbs. 1 oz. | 18 in.

Meet the newest addition to our family—born July 23rd, just after 6PM. (How has it possibly been nearly ten days already?) She's such a tiny thing for being born four days past her due date! This sweet little chickadee has been such a wonderful newborn and we are all enjoying these first days as much as we possibly can.

I'm hoping to write down her birth story sometime next week, and resume regular posting at some point in the next month! Until then, thank you for all the sweet congrats on our new little lady. All your prayers and kind words mean so much to me.

June 22, 2015

the bump (36 weeks)...

36 weeks |
Symptoms: I'm finally to the point where I have to say goodbye to my one cup of morning coffee. I can tell a huge difference in the heartburn department when I avoid it, so although I'm much (much) more tired throughout the day, it is worth it to not totally overdose on Tums. Also, this may be the first point in my pregnancy where I feel I have legitimate food cravings. I am all over the sweets right now and most evenings require a huge glass of chocolate milk with dinner. One day last week I may or may not have eaten three ice cream bars in one day (which was clearly a bad choice, albeit a delicious one). I also am loving a bowl of sugary cereal before bed. Aside from the sugar cravings, not too terribly much has changed since my last update! I've returned to napping (almost) daily with Eisley, in order to make it through the day, but it has been rather nice. And I know sleeping will be so hit-and-miss a month from now, so I'm letting myself have this time to indulge.

Body: I am turning into a total puffball, and that's more of a simple statement than a complaint, because with my first pregnancy my calves and ankles were wildly swollen by month seven. The fact that I made it to the last month and am just now rocking daily cankles feels like a true accomplishment! (And may actually have something to do with all I've been doing to prepare for the move this weekend.) The odd thing is that my fingers are also super puffy (which I didn't experience last time) and I can't even wear my wedding rings most days. I have a simple band that is a bit larger than my regular rings, so I've been wearing that, but it still digs in. I feel awkward and slightly naked not wearing something on my ring finger (hey, it's been over 9 years!) so I'm hoping it doesn't get much worse before the little gal's arrival. Other than the puffiness, I'm still magically avoiding stretch marks, and I'm fully aware that sharing this with the internet may be the ultimate jinx. Ah, well.

Emotions: I find myself being rather short-tempered with both my husband and daughter these past several weeks, which I'm trying to keep in check. Keeping the rage at bay is important, even though it seems like there is a lengthy list of things-to-do-before-baby-arrives…mostly to do with the move. With Jay only available to help on weekends, so much of it feels like it is up to me and I'm (obviously) very limited in what I can actually do. I'm amazed that I haven't been a puddle of tears over packing up the duplex, but mostly I'm just eager to settle into a new space and new routine at our new place. It's been a bit of a challenge, making the whole thing fun for Eisley, but she's been pretty amazing and has been rolling with the punches in a way only an almost-4-year-old can do. I'm a lucky mama to have her as a sidekick, for sure.

Miscellany: It's so wild to think I'm at the point where I need to be packing my hospital bag, readying Eisley for the big day, washing baby clothes, preparing meals for the freezer, and sending off my pre-admission form to the hospital. I'm actually not worried that much over the actual labor and birth, which feels a little surprising—but also not, because I did have such a positive experience last time. During the first half of this pregnancy, I was stressing out about my options and making this birth even better and more magical than last time, but now? I'm kind of over that whole shenanigan. I just want to get this little baby into my arms safe and sound. I'd like to try to rock a med-free birth (if my blood pressure stays in check and my labor is as-quick or quicker than last time, I think I can totally do it) but at the same time am totally not going to feel like a failure if I take the epidural. Mostly, I just hope that my stay at the hospital isn't too terribly long and that the new little gal and I can get back home sooner than later.

— Further reading: My first pregnancy, 37 weeks

June 17, 2015

hellos and goodbyes...

I'm not going to lie: a little part of me thought we had lost the chance to move before the baby arrives next month. But the impossible has happened (yes, it's a total God-thing) and this month we say goodbye to the duplex we've lived in for almost 8 years, and hello to a new apartment a short drive away.

Earlier this month, Jay and I had a serious conversation about what we could afford, how much longer we were willing to look for a new place, and what our actual requirements were. It wasn't a pretty conversation and I may or may not have ugly cried for a full thirty minutes (thank you, pregnancy hormones) but we walked away at peace with the idea of staying in the duplex for a short while longer—should nothing come up that worked for both of us. It was odd reaching that place…having peace whether or not we were able to find something new. Fully trusting that God would provide when the time was right (and knowing we've always been taken care of before). Knowing that it was truly not meant to be if we didn't find something soon.

Honestly, we've been actively searching for a new place since soon after I found out I was pregnant late last year, and (although we found a few places that were fantastic, but fell through) it's slim pickings out here in Southern California. Well, at least it is when your budget is tight and you're trying to find a two-bedroom place in a non-scary area that has more than 750 square feet and school ratings of higher than 3-out-of-10.

I came across this new place a month ago, but it was not available for viewing until a couple weeks ago, at which point I was like, "GIVE ME A TIME AND I WILL BE THERE." So, they gave me a time, I was there, and I had that feeling the whole time I walked through the property.

I'm a feelings person, and I can't apologize for that. My husband will never understand it, because he's very logical and not at all feelings-y when it comes to most things. But for me, I knew I couldn't move into a new place without having that peace. Much of it may have to do with the fact that home is essentially what I do. It's where I spend a majority of my time, and it's my place of comfort as well as my place of "work" and nearly every other little thing. Home is where I am most during this season of life, and it's important to me that we live somewhere I can see each of us being safe, comfortable and content.

No matter what, I knew we'd be settling in one way or another, but I knew I had to feel like moving was the right thing before I agreed to signing the lease. This new place is not perfect, but it's so close to perfect (and I'm not unrealistic—I know there's no way we'd ever find something that had all our hopes and dreams wrapped up in a $1350/month lease!).

And close-to-perfect is something I can definitely handle for the next several years.

We signed the lease last week, and this weekend we start the move-in process. Can you believe it? I can hardly believe it. I've been feverishly packing up the duplex all week and it's been so odd to see blank walls and boxes tucked into the corners of each room…especially after all these years. I am sure I'll cry a significant amount of tears at some point before we leave, but mostly, preparing for the move hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. (Yet another reason I know we made the right choice with the new rental.) 

It actually feels good to box things up and dream of decorating our new space. Granted, I'm only 5 weeks from my due date, which is totally crazypants, and if this baby comes early I'll be all, "THE CURTAINS! I HAVEN'T HAD TIME TO HANG THE CURTAINS!" But, still. I find myself much more excited during this process and am finding it to be less sad than I anticipated. This duplex holds so much of my adult life—so many of the Big Things my husband and I have experienced over the past 8 years. I'm always going to love it and miss it a little bit.

Things will be rather quiet around here while we work on packing, getting settled in, and then anticipating the arrival of our next little gal. Aside from packing like a maniac during most of my free time, I'm also at that point of pregnancy where I'm absolutely exhausted all the live-long day. (God bless the bloggers who manage to post regularly during their entire pregnancy and postpartum journey.)

I want to say thank you to everyone who has kept us in their thoughts and prayers and we searched for a new place, and know that all of it made such a difference to us. The encouragement means so much, as well! I keep hearing new stories of women who moved when they were 9-months pregnant and those are the best stories. (I mean, seriously. Keep 'em coming.) I'm grateful we don't have a huge home to pack up and move, so I think it's totally possible for us to get into the new place and have it feel like home before the baby arrives.

But I'm not going to lie: this may be the one time I don't mind having a baby born a wee bit past the due date. (My rapidly swelling ankles may tell another story, though.)